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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get a street tree pruned or removed?

Parks & Recreation prunes and removes hazardous street trees for free. You can request service online by clicking here or by calling (215) 685-4363 or (215) 685-4362.

Parks & Recreation does not prune or remove trees on private property, in vacant lots, or in alleyways. We are also not able to remove living, healthy trees. Property owners are able to hire certified arborists to do this work at their own expense; find out how here.

What’s the difference between a street tree and a yard tree?

A street tree is a tree planted in the sidewalk or a planting strip in the public right-of-way. A yard tree is planted in the ground on private property. Get more information here.

How do I get a street tree? When will I get my street tree?

You can request a free street tree from Parks & Recreation online or by calling (215) 685-4363 or (215) 685-4362. You can also call this number to get an update on the status of your request. Get more information here.

What kind of trees do you have?

We plant a variety of native trees and cultivated varieties that are well-suited to Philadelphia’s climate as well as harsh urban environments. You can review the list of approved street tree species here. Our yard tree species change each season; you can get the most recent list here.

Will the tree roots get into my house’s pipes?

Tree roots can find their way into a sewer lateral, but normally that occurs only after the lateral has begun to deteriorate as a result of age, settlement or other factors. Most of a tree’s root system is concentrated in the top 12 – 24 inches of soil directly beneath the concrete sidewalk. A home’s sewer lateral, beneath the sidewalk slab, is an average of six to seven feet below ground, providing a buffer of soil and fill between the lateral and the tree. Read more from Philadelphia Water here.